The Salesian Presence Is Strong at Don Bosco Prep

Ramsey Community Story
Don Bosco Prep boys visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
Don Bosco Prep boys visit the
Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
Photo courtesy of Don Bosco Prep’s Facebook

By Mrs. Jennifer Passerino, Director of Events & Public Relations, Don Bosco Prep

(Ramsey, NJ – December 14) – As many of you know, the Salesian presence has been ever-present in the Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, NJ, community since the school was founded on April 3, 1915. With the arrival of the first students who transferred from Columbus Institute in Hawthorne, NY, the Ramsey school, initially known as Don Bosco Polish Institute, was a college preparatory boarding school for Polish boys taught by Polish Salesian priests. St. John Bosco's educational methodology, employing reason, religion, and kindness to reach the hearts of the young, was immediately employed by the Salesian priests and brothers.

With 11 priests and brothers, and 3 pre-novices currently in the community, the Salesians are ever-present in the daily lives of our students, leading by example in making Don Bosco Prep a home that welcomes, a school that educates, a church that evangelizes, and a playground where friends can meet. They take on many roles as teachers, club moderators, and administrators, as well as mentors and spiritual guides. They attend mission trips, run retreats, assist with fundraising, and cheer on our students at sporting events, academic ceremonies, and arts performances. The Salesians are fully immersed in the culture and faith here at Don Bosco Prep.

Our director, Fr. Abraham Feliciano, SDB, attended Don Bosco Tech in Paterson, New Jersey, and was assigned to Don Bosco Prep as a pre-novice to teach theology from 1996-1997 and again as a newly professed brother from 1998-2000. Now in his third year as director, Fr. Abe shares a special connection with the students, faculty/staff, and Salesian community, offering spiritual guidance and direction.

Fr. Tom Dunne, SDB, is vice director, as well as the province delegate for the Salesian Family and province delegate for the Salesian Cooperators. Fr. Jim Mulloy, SDB, has been teaching theology at Don Bosco Prep since 2012. He also moderates the very student-popular Fishing Club and Grilling Society.

Fr. Jim McKenna, SDB, is a DBP alumnus from the Class of 1969 and plays an active role in the advancement office, assisting with events, fundraising, and alumni relations. Fr. Jim is also the coordinator of the Salesian Cooperators in the Ramsey community.

Don Bosco Prep boys during their trip to Midtown Manhattan
Don Bosco Prep boys during their trip
to Midtown Manhattan
Photo courtesy of Don Bosco Prep’s Facebook

Fr. John Blanco, SDB, is the most senior Salesian priest in the U.S. portion of the St. Philip the Apostle Province. Fr. John hears confessions every morning and celebrates Mass with the community, as well as with surrounding parishes, and takes on beautification projects around campus in his spare time. This coming January, Fr. John will turn 94 years young, and in February he will celebrate 60 years as a Salesian priest!

We are blessed with his presence on campus and in our lives every day. Br. Travis Gunnther, SDB, returned to Bosco in 2022 as the youth minister of the school and the formation delegate of the province. He helped reinstate mission trips to Puerto Rico and Tampa. He sees to it that the youth ministry office implements a very successful food drive and toy drive every year. Groups of freshman students travel to Newark once a week to volunteer at the soup kitchen, and all students complete 100 hours of community service during their time here at Bosco. Fr. John Serio, SDB, who recently returned to the Ramsey community, serves on the President’s Leadership Team and is involved in several pastoral projects. You will most likely see Br. Alfred Flatoff, SDB, around campus planting flowers or decorating for the holidays!

Two of the Salesian confreres, who are part of the community, Fr. Jim Cerbone, SDB, and Br. Jim Weigand, SDB, live in an assisted-living residence nearby. They are visited daily by members of the community and kept closely involved in Bosco’s happenings.

Br. Tom Dion, SDB, is the community treasurer and pre-novitiate coordinator. This year, there are four pre-novitiates in the province program: Carlos Cerda, Nathan Gonzales, Jieo Tecson, and Lorenzo D’Alessandro. While Lorenzo is completing his formative studies online from Toronto, Canada (He will return to Ramsey in January.). You can very often find Carlos, Nathan, and Jieo amongst the students on campus, at sporting events, and extracurricular activities after their formation classes are completed. They are a welcome addition to our community!

We are blessed with our Salesian community at Don Bosco Prep as they continue to offer their faith-filled guidance to our students, families, and faculty/staff.

May the blessings of family, friends, and faith be with you this Christmas season and throughout the coming year!

The members of the Don Bosco Prep Ramsey community who are pictured at the top of this article are (left to right): Fr. Jim Mulloy, SDB; Br. Travis Gunther, SDB; Pre-novice Nathan Gonzales; Pre-novice Carlos Cerda; Br. Tom Dion, SDB; Fr. John Blanco, SDB; Director Fr. Abraham Feliciano, SDB; Fr. Tom Dunne, SDB; Fr. Alfred Flatoff, SDB; Fr. Jim McKenna, SDB; Pre-novice Jieo Tecson; and Fr. John Serio, SDB. Many thanks to Ms. Nicole Shatouhy for such a great pic!

December 14, 2023 - 8:30am

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